Here’s the deal, the CENTRAL IDEA of this post: Honor DOES NOT require you to be obsequious.
Obsequious: obedient or attentive to a fawning (to court favor by a cringing or flattering manner) degree.
Most people do not understand HONOR. They think a person honoring you means that the person allows you to step on them and over them and use them however you see fit even unto their detriment. They want a SLAVE, not a SERVANT. A slave has no identity or rights. A slave is inhuman and treated as disposable. A slave has no right to choose. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:
It isn’t OBEDIENCE if you don’t have a CHOICE.
Still the more: GOD set the standard for HONOR.
Indeed, Jesus served God’s will unfailingly, being obedient unto the death of the cross. In that Jesus HONORED the Father and Creator of all. But the relationship was and is and forever will be reciprocal. God’s unfailing love was there; His Spirit always guided Jesus; Jesus never went without anything He needed; everything The Father asked or gave Jesus permission to do, Adonai EMPOWERED Jesus to do it successfully. The relationship of servant to Master created conditions of trust from both ends. Jesus trusted YHWH in all things; and YHWH trusted Jesus right back.
How? Glad you asked. The honor that God reciprocated back to Jesus for dying the death of the cross wasn’t just the resurrection or ascension to the right hand: it was being conferred the name that sits above all names in heaven, on the earth, and under the earth (Philippians 2:11). Now every request we have is honored by God in “HASCHEM”—THE NAME. What name? Jesus the Christ.
So here is the lesson for you.
Reciprocity is requisite for Relationship; but Honor can be offered without Intimacy.
Because of the standard that God set for us? We expect reciprocity in every. Single. Relationship. And not only do we expect reciprocity, we look for equal return. Now, there isn’t anything wrong with looking at life this way; we were literally designed with reciprocity in mind. When God created man, God created male and female—to reciprocate, give to each other what the other may not possess. “One flesh” means one unit, working in rhythmic complement. The whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts. Now this DOES NOT mean that you are NOT WHOLE of your own accord; it simply means the unit becomes more powerful as the two wholes create something greater—2 are better than 1. It simply means that God wired us to look for our reciprocals, that God built us to connect with each other so that we might operate at full capacity. My gift is meaningless except that it blesses others, and I need your gift to edify, encourage, and comfort me. God’s will is that we live in the unity of the faith—Jesus said that we be one in each other as He Is One with the Father (John 17). So when we are giving and the other person is not? Well. Offense is the final destination there if one isn’t careful.
I’m writing this today, though, because you need to understand that not everyone is operating at full capacity or efficiency. Unhealed trauma and soul wounds, strongholds around bad belief systems, immaturity in the faith? These things lead to a lack of ability to reciprocate. And people dealing in these manners are going to OVER-give or UNDER-give. (Oh. You thought I was just gone talk about the ones who just take-take-take-take loud and overwhelming? Nah. Cuz over-givers—people pleasers like myself? We are taking just as much, just in a less obvious way. So I’m this regard? We are all takers. So don’t point not “ahl fanger” (one finger for you non-Southerners) at anybody else BUT self. This is another post for another day. Today? We are talking about honoring those who do not reciprocate.)
As I was saying. When we live unhealed? We cannot live truly reciprocated lives. Being unable to reciprocate and not receiving that reciprocity leads to offense and offense leads to bitterness and bitterness is misery. The viciousness of the cycle often keeps people from finding and experiencing the fullness of love in their lives.
Yet in still? We give thanks to God.
See, you don’t have to have a relationship with someone to honor them. Honor is a choice. You choose how you treat others—even those who act how they act and do what they do to continue to bring harm to others (whether intentional or unintentional).
In order to do this though, you must be aware of and prepared for these things:
The will of God for that relationship. Specifically. Every relationship has a purpose because God doesn’t allow anything to happen that doesn’t fit into His plan. That includes your connections to other people. Not what you assume but what God has determined. Knowing God’s will is the foundation necessary for the following:
How your own expectations and experiences affect your ability to give honor. Let me tell you something about the heart—that heaux is a hotness who hops up whenever other people are involved. Every unmet emotional need, every unrealistic expectation, every excuse known to man will arise in you if you don’t crucify the flesh. To do God’s will? You must be ready to crucify your flesh. Otherwise? Your flesh will interfere with its ugly motives and misgivings and muck it all up.
How the person’s response (or lack there of) will trigger you. See #2. You’d be surprised the amount of validation we are constantly seeking from people who don’t desire true intimacy with us or lack the capacity to give in return. The loneliness of that will slice you into nothing if you aren’t FULLY WHOLEHEARTEDLY leaning on Jesus’s name. (See David and Joseph for reference).
The best boundaries to set based on 1-3. God’s will never puts you in a pickle but it ABSOLUTELY PRESERVES you if you let it. Following God’s expectations to a “T” means that God sets the parameters not just for you to serve but for you to be safe! God ain’t putting His kids in abusive situations—God promised that His thoughts toward you are not to harm you but to PROSPER you. So follow the expectations and set appropriate boundaries as the Lord leads.
Honor produces intimacy one way or the other. Maybe the person you’re honoring can’t return it, but other spaces in your life will be full of it—especially your relationship with the Father. Even if not at the hands and heart of the one receiving the honor, honor reproduces itself in your life as God designs. True honor multiplies. Learn to give it so that you can live it.